Wednesday, 23 November 2011

A non-exhaustive list of names for your zapper

What do you call yours? Some people call theirs really stupid things. Like 'The Converter'.. what's that about? Here are some more I have collected today, beginning with the Doofer as it was PoliteIre who started it by being forced to defend her use of it in her own house. "You point it at the telly, it doofs. What's the problem?" Can't argue with that. Here they are then.

The Doofer

The Zapper (4 votes) (aka Frank/Moon Unit/Dweezil if you're feeling playful)

The Buttons/Telly Buttons (4 votes)

The Remote (3 votes) errr Boring! Why not pick something else from this list?

The Doobrey (2 votes) A lot of words for zappers are also words for fishing equipment, I have learned in the course of my research.

The Thingy-Majig

The Box/The Telly Box

The Channel Changer

The Goat

The 'mote

'The Magic Box' - as well as being words for fishing tackle, a lot of these could also be words for lady parts.

The Merote

The Dinker
The Converter

The Push-Push

The Telly Stick

The Schnik-Shnack

The fuckin'…

The Shitz

The [makes thumb clicking motion in air]

The Bibbip

The Badger

Any more for any more?

Monday, 21 November 2011

Five Children's Books with Maps

I spent a lot of time drawing maps, floorplans of houses and designing the layouts of new libraries when I was younger (I'm not fibbing, I spent hours and hours over a layout for my ideal library and sent it in to the one I used to go to. They never wrote back. I'm beginning to suspect my Mum never sent the letter). I'm not going to subject you to my top five favourite house layouts (yet) but how about some maps?

Here you are then.

Lord of the Rings: obviously. Although you can argue over whether this is a children's book, I read the first one when I was that age so it is to me. I've still never read the other two all the way through but I'm sure I will one day.

Miss Jaster's Garden: plot the route of a garden stealing hedgehog. Miss Jaster could benefit from a bit of laser eye surgery.

Winnie the Pooh: the first book that had me flipping back to the endpapers every five minutes. [aside - who is the best poet of all?]

Milly Molly Mandy: another endpaper flipper. If you read these when you were small, you'll know how I feel about these books. If you didn't then buy a set for your kids right now - don't let them miss out too!

Treasure Island: The inventor of 'x marks the spot' and another of my favourite books, although more recently discovered.

Any more I should be including?

Why I like Tom Waits So Much

Dunno, really, why don't you?

*pics all from

Thursday, 10 November 2011


Thought I might talk a bit about art again. Ravilious, this time. He was very good you know. He probably would have done a lot more good stuff if he hadn't been killed so young.

These are my favourites of his watercolours:

Newhaven Harbour (1937) Just look at the light in this! He was apparently inspired by european children's illustration of the time and I think you can see that here. This painting give me a similar feeling to the one of the big garden in that book about an old lady who adopts a hedgehog. Why I can't I remember the name of that book?! I can't google it with just a feeling and no keywords. Damn.

Cuckmere Haven (1939). One of my favourite places to go for a walk. We've been on many Christmas day walks along here. Beautiful.

Train Landscape (1939). Probably because I watched too much Poirot but I've always had a thing for 30s trains. If I finally achieve my ambition to do the Trans-Siberian railway, I'll probably be disappointed if it isn't like this.

Beachy Head (1939). Another familiar sight, beautifully lit and painted.

Caravans (1936). According to my book, he bought a couple of these fever vans, shipped back to Newhaven from the Boer war, and he and his wife turned them into a bedroom and a studio. Very Grand Designs.

Unfortunately, I can't seem to find any good images of his woodcuts but I assure you they are excellent. Instead, here's some bonus lithographs from High Street by JM Richards:

More here.

Bye now!